Suicide is everyone’s business, and no one should struggle alone – said two senior team members from Rugby’s Wellbeing Hub as they operated a stand in the library to raise awareness for World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on September 10.
Michelle Dyer and Fiona Palmer organised the stand to inform Rugbeians of the wide range of assistance available if they are struggling with their mental wellbeing.
Nationally, suicide is the leading cause of death for males in three age groups (5-19, 20-34 and 35-49 years), and the leading cause of death for females in two age groups (5-19 and 20-34).
Fiona said: “We’re here to raise awareness for suicide prevention and the importance of seeking help. Suicidal feelings can affect any of us – it’s everyone’s business.”
Fiona and Michelle urged anyone experiencing suicidal feelings take the first step to seek help. “That first step is the most difficult,” Fiona said.
Fiona said those concerned about the mental wellbeing of another can help significantly if they ask the person how they are feeling and whether they are contemplating suicide.
“It’s a myth that by asking someone about suicide you are somehow putting the idea in their head,” she added.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IAFSP) states: "People are often reluctant to intervene, for many reasons, including a fear of what knowing what to say.
"It is important to remember, there is no specific formula. Empathy, compassion, genuine concern, knowledge of resources and a desire to help are key to preventing a tragedy.
"Another factor that prevent individuals from intervening is the worry of making the situation worse. This hesitance is understandable as suicide is often a difficult issue to address, accompanied by a myth that suggests talking about it may instigate vulnerable individuals to contemplate the idea or trigger the act.
"Evidence suggests that this is not the case. The offer of support and a listening ear are more likely to reduce distress, as opposed to exacerbating it."
To learn more about the help available if you are struggling, visit warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth. You can also call the Mental Health Matters helpline for free at any time on 0800 616 171.
For five evidence based tips on improving your mental wellbeing, visit warwickshire.gov.uk/5ways
To learn more about Rugby's Wellbeing Hub and the help it can offer, visit wbw.cwmind.org.uk/rugby
The Samaritans can be contacted for free at any time on 116 123, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org